Genesis 33:9

Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel. Twenty years before Jacob learned at Bethel to know God as a living and present Protector. This a great step in spiritual life; belief of God in heaven, becoming consciousness of God "in this place," guiding all events. It is the first step towards walking with God. But his training not yet complete. Truth is usually grasped by degrees. Unbelief, cast out, returns in new forms and under new pretences. A common mistake at beginning of Christian life is to think that the battle is at an end when decision made. The soul may have passed from death to life; but much still to be done, much to be learned. Many a young Christian little knows the weakness of his faith. During these years Jacob shows real faith, but not perfect reliance (Genesis 30:37; Genesis 31:20). Returning home greatly enriched, he heard of Esau at hand. He feared his anger. No help in man; God's promise his only refuge. Could he trust to it? His wrestling. We cannot picture its outward form; but its essence a spiritual struggle. His endurance tried by bodily infirmity (cf. Job 2:5) and by the apparent unwillingness of the Being with whom he strove (cf. Matthew 15:26). His answer showed determination (cf. 2 Kings 4:30). This prevailed; weak as he was, he received the blessing (cf. Hebrews 11:34). And the new name was the sign of his victory (cf. Matthew 21:22; 1 John 5:4).

I. THE STRUGGLE. Why thus protracted? It was not merely a prolonged prayer, like Luke 6:12. There was some hindrance to be overcome (cf. Matthew 11:12); not by muscular force, but by earnest supplication. Where Scripture is silent we must speak cautiously. But probable explanation is the state of Jacob's own mind. Hitherto faith had been mixed with faithlessness; belief in the promise with hesitation to commit the means to God. Against this divided mind (James 1:8) the Lord contended. No peace while this remained (cf. Isaiah 26:3). And the lesson of that night was to trust God's promise entirely (cf. Psalm 37:3). When this was learned the wrestling of the Spirit against the double mind was at an end. Such a struggle may be going on in the hearts of some here. A craving for peace, yet a restless disquiet. The gospel believed, yet failing to bring comfort. Prayer for peace apparently unanswered, so that there seemed to be some power contending against us. Why is this? Most probably from failing to commit all to God. Perhaps requiring some sign (John 20:25), some particular state of feeling, or change of disposition; perhaps looking for faith within as the ground of trust; perhaps choosing the particular blessing - self-will as to the morsel of the bread of life to satisfy us, instead of taking every word of God. There is the evil. It is against self thou must strive. Behold thy loving Savior; will he fail thee in the hour of need? Tell all to him; commit thyself into his hands; not once or twice, but habitually.

II. THE NEW NAME (Cf. Revelation 3:12). No more Jacob, the crafty, but Israel, God's prince (cf. Revelation 1:6). The token of victory over distrust, self-will, self-confidence. In knowledge of poverty is wealth (Matthew 5:3); in knowledge of weakness, strength (2 Corinthians 12:10). That name is offered to all. The means, persevering prayer; but prayer not to force our will upon God, but that trust may be so entire that our wills may in all things embrace his. - M.

I have enough.
I. HERE IS AN UNGODLY MAN WHO HAS ENOUGH (ver. 9). Esau. Unconverted men are sometimes contented with their lot in this life.

1. It is not always or often so: they are mostly a dissatisfied company.

2. It is sometimes so: as in the case of Esau. This may arise from —

(1)A want of energy.

(2)A naturally easy disposition, readily pleased.

(3)Utter recklessness, which only considers present pleasure.

3. It has some good points about it.

(1)As preventing greed, and the oppression which comes of it.

(2)As often promoting a good-natured liberality, and the disposition to "live and let live."

4. Yet it has its evil side.

(1)It leads men to boast of their wealth or acquirements, who would not do so if they were craving for more.

(2)It tends to breed a contempt for spiritual riches.

(3)It may thus be a sign of having one's portion in this life.


1. It is a pity that this is not true of every Christian man.

2. It is delightful to have enough. Contentment surpasses riches.

3. It is pleasant to have somewhat to spare for the poor (Ephesians 4:28).

4. It is blessed to have all this through our God. Jacob said, "God hath dealt graciously with me, and I have enough."

5. It is best of all to have all things. In the margin we read that Jacob said, "I have all things." "All things are yours" (1 Corinthians 3:22).

(1)All that the believer needs is promised in the covenant.

(2)All things in providence work together for his good.

(3)In having God for his portion he has more than all.Thus he has enough of strength and grace. Enough in Christ, in the Word, and in the Spirit. Enough in God's love, power and faithfulness, and an immeasurable supply in God Himself, whose name is "God All-sufficient." The child of God should be ashamed of discontent, since even a common sinner may be free from it. He should be heartily satisfied; for he has all things, and what more can he desire? " O rest in the Lord" (Psalm 37:7).

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

1. Natural affection will urge to inquire of the outward state of brethren as well as of relations.

2. Modesty in nature will expostulate about brethren's offers of love rather then covetously take them.

3. Providential occurrences of good pretended may occasion natural men to inquire about them.

4. Humble souls as under providence they do seek favour with men by presents, so they profess it (ver. 8).

5. It is possible for natural men to have a kind of sufficiency and content in their possessions.

6. Nature may desire others to keep their own, as it is contented with its portion.

7. Nature is apt to think earthly possessions enough without God (ver. 9).

8. Ingenuity and grace is not only liberal, but urgent to have fruits of love accepted.

9. Acceptance of loving presents is a token of acceptance of persons.

10. It is just cause of importunity in pressing pacifying presents when God's face is seen in reconciled adversaries.

11. Unexpected love from displeased ones engageth to press kindness on them (ver. 10).

12. Presents of gracious souls from God to men are blessings.

13. Grace is importunate with man as well as with God to win Him.

14. God's gracious respects to saints causeth them so to respect their brethren.

15. God's Jacobs, gracious souls, they have not only enough, but all in the grace of God.

16. The all-sufficiency which God giveth His saints makes them so pressing kindness to others.

17. Nature is overcome by the importunity of grace to accept an outward blessing.

18. Brotherly conference is the way of winning upon men of bad spirits. All this between Jacob and Esau is by loving parley.

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

A poor Christian woman, who was breaking her fast upon a crust and a cup of water, exclaimed, "What! all this and Christ too!"

( C. H. Spurgeon.)A Puritan preacher asking a blessing on a herring and potatoes, said, "Lord, we thank Thee that Thou hast ransacked sea and land to find food for Thy children."

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

The great cry with everybody is, "Get on! get on!" just as if the world were travelling post. How astonished these people will be, if they arrive in heaven, to find the angels, who are much wiser than they, laying no schemes to be made archangels!

(Maxims for Meditation.)

Is not the bee as well contented with feeding on the dew, or sucking from a flower, as the ox that grazeth on the mountains? Contentment lies within a man, in the heart; and the way to be comfortable is not by having our barrels filled, but our minds quieted. The contented man (saith Seneca)is the happy man ..... Discontent robs a man of the power to enjoy what he possesses. A drop or two of vinegar will sour a whole glass of wine.

( T. Watson.)

As a typical instance of the contentment of some unregenerate persons, note the following: "A captain of a whale-ship told one of the wretched natives of Greenland that he sincerely pitied the miserable life to which he was condemned. 'Miserable!' exclaimed the savage. 'I have always had a fish-bone through my nose, and plenty of train-oil to drink: what more could I desire?'"

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

1. The first man who ever said so.

2. What even non-spiritual men may say. Should not Christians say more?

3. Property should be a heart-store.

4. "Enough" can never be true of spiritual blessings.

5. The evils of avaricious grasping.

6. We must not be avaricious, even on the plea that it is for others,

7. Christianity should be proved by contentment. Examples of Christ and Paul.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Aram, Esau, Hamor, Jacob, Joseph, Leah, Rachel, Seir
Canaan, Paddan-aram, Penuel, Seir, Shechem, Succoth
Abundance, Already, Brother, Esau, Hast, Plenty, Thyself, Yours
1. Jacob and Esau's meeting; and Esau's departure.
17. Jacob comes to Succoth.
18. At Shechem he buys a field, and builds an altar, called El Elohe Israel.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Genesis 33:1-11

     5799   bitterness

Genesis 33:1-17

     5095   Jacob, life

Genesis 33:8-11

     5861   favour, human

Jesus Sets Out from Judæa for Galilee.
Subdivision B. At Jacob's Well, and at Sychar. ^D John IV. 5-42. ^d 5 So he cometh to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 and Jacob's well was there. [Commentators long made the mistake of supposing that Shechem, now called Nablous, was the town here called Sychar. Sheckem lies a mile and a half west of Jacob's well, while the real Sychar, now called 'Askar, lies scarcely half a mile north of the well. It was a small town, loosely called
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Roman Pilgrimage: the Miracles which were Wrought in It.
[Sidenote: 1139] 33. (20). It seemed to him, however, that one could not go on doing these things with sufficient security without the authority of the Apostolic See; and for that reason he determined to set out for Rome, and most of all because the metropolitan see still lacked, and from the beginning had lacked, the use of the pall, which is the fullness of honour.[507] And it seemed good in his eyes[508] that the church for which he had laboured so much[509] should acquire, by his zeal and labour,
H. J. Lawlor—St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh

The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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